Make Time for Brain Play

I recently went to a lecture on brain science and how it relates to learning by Linda Jacobs a professor at my alma mater, Hope College. I use lecture as a loose term, since we were doing things like connecting with people we didn’t know. And trying to have a thumb up on one hand and point with the other then switch. Try it. It’s a lot harder than it sounds.

I am fascinated with the new research on science now that we can scan brains and see which activity lights up parts of the brain.

Things I learned about the brain:

  • The right brain/left brain theory has been debunked. We all use both parts of our brain. And that is desirable – so we should do cross motion like crossing our arms back and forth, doing sports, and playing instruments.
  • The connections in the brain are chemical – so what we eat is important for brain health
  • The average 4th grader has 6 hrs of screen time (TV, computer, video) – which does not help make the important brain connections
  • Body mapping is a great memory technique and you are less likely to ever forget what you learned – we learned the continents in less than 5 minutes from touching various parts of our body
  • Constant emotionally ladened messages from ads, TV, etc. puts people into flight or fight – especially kids
  • Rapidly changing input from video and TV has many kids paying attention in 3 minute bites
  • Most adults top out at 45 minutes of sustained attention
  • The brain needs: face to face interaction, play, exercise, proper nutrition, real life connections to the real world, water, brain play like crosswords and scrabble, doing something new, and writing

If you are interested in learning more you can find more brain insights at Brainergy, On the Brain, Brain Connection, & Probe the Brain.